(This story originally appeared in ASU's student newspaper, The State Press, on Sept. 15, 2010)
ASU Libraries launched its first collection of electronic books and readers Tuesday, focusing on popular young adult novels for students.
The collection is comprised of six Kindle readers that students can check out from Hayden Library. The readers each hold electronic copies of 41 popular young adult novels, including "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" and "Twilight." The collection presents an alternative form of reading the books, though print editions are still available.
This is the first e-book collection available at ASU, said associate librarian Joe Buenker, and it will serve as a sort of pilot program to gauge the interest in expanding e-book offerings on campus.
The collection was financed through an endowment from the ASU Parents Association and is being named after English professor Alleen Pace Nilsen for her ongoing commitment to the field of young adult literature as a scholastic pursuit.
The books chosen were all released between 1988 and 2008, and are all featured on the "YA Lit Honor List," which Nilsen compiles every November for the English Journal.
Nilsen's list honors the best books released for young adults in the past year.
Parents Association director Robin Okun Hengl was present at the ceremony, which was held in the Durham Language and Literature Building. She said it was an honor to fund such a unique program.
"It really testifies to how an investment can change over the years but still reflect our initial intent," Hengl said.
According to the association's website, the endowment supports ASU Libraries' goal to provide an interactive, media-friendly classroom.
Nilsen, a renowned scholar of young adult literature, said it was an honor to be recognized in such a unique way.
"It is deeply satisfying to win an award in front of a lot of very nice people," Nilsen said, quoting Wilbur, a character from the children's book "Charlotte's Web."
Buenker said the library is only able to offer the collection on six devices because of copyright restrictions.
The restrictions also make the library unable to transfer the books onto Kindles that students own themselves, he said.
The library plans to update the collection over time with more e-books, but Buenker said the publication limits and copyright restrictions could make it difficult to obtain access to copies of the e-books for ASU.
"Young adult publishers haven't really made e-books available for institutional purposes," Buenker said.
The library has a full list of titles available on the Kindles on its website.
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